As Alec Ryrie pointed out in his history of Doubt, “intellectuals and philosophers may think they make the weather, but they are more often driven by it.”
Fleeming Jenkin (the distinguished Scottish scientist who with Lord Kelvin spearheaded the laying of the transatlantic cable) was particularly scathing.
People chose to believe what they wanted to believe in obedience to the then reigning intellectual fashion.
Charles Darwin, as we saw yesterday, pulled off an intellectual coup against the major thinkers of the Western tradition. How did he do it?
The classical pantheon, lacking moral credibility, had become a source of embarrassment to thoughtful Greeks.